Archives and Rare Books

Bernie’s ‘other’ library

Washington University’s medical library is named after Bernard Becker, MD (1920-2013), who served as head of the university’s Department of Ophthalmology from 1953 to 1988.  During his remarkable 35-year tenure as department chair, Becker established one of the most outstanding academic ophthalmology departments and residency programs in the country and became a world-renowned expert on  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Historic Pharmaceuticals: Lessons for an archivist

Becker Library’s archives contain so much more than paper documents. Many of our collections comprise an amazing array of unique artifacts, including photographs and albums, clothing, plaques and medals, blueprints, historic currency, and maps. We also care for collections including materials that are incredible resources for the preservation of the history of medicine and its  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Paratext: A unique perspective on the past

When we set out to do historical research, we’re often very focused on the text – we want the book, the chapter, the journal article. But sometimes it’s just as important to pay attention to the paratext. Paratext is a word used to describe additional material supplied by authors, editors, printers, and publishers – for  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

The St. Louis Body-Snatchers

It reads like the beginning of a horror story. “At 8 o’clock Monday evening three very rough-looking men entered a saloon known as the ‘Gravois Cave’ on a corner opposite of the cemetery…The men remained only a few minutes and when they went out they separated going in different directions and leaving a light spring-wagon,  [Read more]

Announcements, Archives and Rare Books

‘Making a Monster’ exhibit explores developments in science and anatomy that shaped ‘Frankenstein’

Mary Shelley’s seminal novel “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus” was published 200 years ago in 1818. Since then it has never gone out of print, and it has been reinterpreted in film, theatre, and even ballet. Its enduring popularity can be attributed to the timelessness of its themes. “Frankenstein” is not just a simple story  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Part Medical Text, Part Work of Art

The Becker Library Rare Book Collections include approximately 23,000 volumes chronicling the history of medicine. The books and journals are organized within nine distinct collections that primarily document western medical history, and are typically written in Latin, German, French and English. There are, however, many medical texts among the rare book collections that are not  [Read more]

Archives and Rare Books

Descartes’ ‘Treatise of Man’

Rene Descartes’ “Treatise of Man” is my favorite work of the 35 in “Brain Localization: Images and ideas through 500 years, an exhibit of rare books” currently on display in the library’s Glaser Gallery. According to “Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine, #627,” “it was the first European textbook on physiology” and noteworthy  [Read more]

Announcements, Archives and Rare Books

Travel Scholarships Available for Archives and Rare Books Collections Use

Bernard Becker Medical Library is fortunate to have robust collections in archives and rare books that document the history of medicine from the late 15th century up to the present. Subjects in which the library’s holdings are particularly strong include ophthalmology and optics, neurology, deaf education, and the history of dentistry. In order to encourage  [Read more]

1 2 3 10